Saturday, March 19, 2011

Play Dead by John Levitt

From the back: Mason is an an enforcer, ensuring that those magic practitioners without a moral compass walk the straight and narrow. Mostly he just wants to keep his head down, play guitar, and maintain a low profile with Lou, his magical canine companion. But Mason is down on his luck, and when a job with a large payout comes along, he finds the offer hard to resist.

Jessica Alexander, a practitioner of dark magic, tasks Mason with finding a missing woman and supposed thief. But the case leads to a bigger mystery involving an ancient spell book that can open paths to different worlds - something most practitioners would kill to possess. Mason and Lou are determined to keep the spell book out of the wrong hands, but that could mean sacrificing what both man and his best friend hold most dear.

First line: The rain was vicious, drenching the streets, bouncing off the pavement and running down the gutters. The wind had picked up, driving the rain sideways at times, and the bobbing red and yellow and black umbrellas danced erratically as the wind swept through.

My thoughts: This is the fourth book in the urban fantasy Dog Days series, and I thought it was the best yet. My favorite part of these books has always been Lou, the Ifrit/dog who helps Mason. Lou had some pretty big scenes in this one. I like that Lou, like Mason, seems believable. Mason is funny at times, seems a little slow on the uptake, wants to do the right thing for the right reasons and makes me root for him. The author's love of music, particularly jazz, is woven well into the fabric of the stories, into Mason's use of magic. I find this a unique feature and interesting. The other characters are well drawn, the world building is belivable, the mystery drew me along, page after page. The end of this one wasn't quite the happy ending I was expecting even though the practitioner society was saved. But what about our heroes? The cliff-hanger at the end left me a little heartbroken. It will be hard waiting to see what happens to them.


Quote: "A volley of sharp barks brought me out of it. I looked down with some surprise and found Lou up onstage, angrily barking his head off. Everything rushed back into focus - Park Place, the bandstand, Dave and Bobby and roger, the crowd."

John Levitt


Yvonne said...

I've heard of this one. I haven't read it, but I added it to my list.

samantha.1020 said...

I hadn't heard of this series before but I'm definitely going to have to check it out. I love finding new urban fantasy series!!!!